If you've just returned from your Labor Day vacation and are scanning the headlines from last week's newspapers -- don't panic! America is not threatened by a category 5 hurricane named "Larry Craig."
Despite the 9/11-level coverage, Larry Craig is merely accused of "cruising while Republican." There is nothing liberals love more than gay-baiting, which they disguise as an attack on "hypocrisy."
Chris Matthews opened his "Hardball" program on Aug. 28 by saying Larry Craig had been "exposed as both a sexual deviant and a world-class hypocrite."
Normally, using the word "deviant" in reference to any form of sodomy would be a linguistic crime worse than calling someone a "nappy headed ho." Luckily, Craig is a Republican.
As a backup precaution, Matthews has worked to ensure that there is virtually no audience for "Hardball." I shudder to think of the damage such a remark might have done if uttered about a non-Republican on a TV show with actual viewers.
The New York Times ran 15 articles on Craig's guilty plea to "disorderly conduct" in a bathroom. The Washington Post ran 20 articles on Craig. MSNBC covered it like it was the first moon landing -- Three small taps for a man, one giant leap for public gay sex!
In other news last week, two Egyptian engineering students, Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed and Youssef Samir Megahed, were indicted in Tampa on charges of carrying pipe bombs across states lines. They were caught with the bombs in their car near a Navy base.
But back to the real news of the week: CNN's Dana Bash reported that the Larry Craig story was "everywhere and it is not going to let up."
If liberals were any happier, they'd be gay.
Just as liberals were reaching a fever-pitch of pretend shock and dismay at Larry Craig, it was announced that Craig was resigning. And there went MSNBC's fall program schedule.
Indignant that Craig had short-circuited their gleeful gay-baiting, liberals quickly switched to a new set of talking points. In the blink of an eye, they went from calling Craig a "deviant" to attacking Republicans for not insisting that Craig stay.
Liberals said the only reason Republicans were not blanketing the airwaves defending Craig -- maybe running him for president -- was because of Republican "homophobia."
After howling with rage all week about gay Republicans, to turn around and call Republicans homophobes on Friday was nothing if not audacious.
But last Friday -- or, for short, "the day the two bomb-carrying Egyptian students were indicted and the mainstream media was too busy jeering at Larry Craig to notice" -- The New York Times editorialized:
"Underlying the (Republicans') hurry to disown the senator, of course, is the party's brutal agenda of trumpeting the gay-marriage issue. To the extent Sen. Craig, a stalwart in the family values caucus, might morph into a blatant hypocrite before the voters' eyes, he reflects on the party's record in demonizing homosexuality. The rush to cast him out betrays the party's intolerance, which is on display for the public in all of its ugliness."
Liberals don't even know what they mean by "hypocrite" anymore. It's just a word they throw out in a moment of womanly pique, like "extremist" -- or, come to think of it, "gay." How is Craig a "hypocrite," much less a "blatant hypocrite"?
Assuming the worst about Craig, the Senate has not held a vote on outlawing homosexual impulses. It voted on gay marriage. Craig not only opposes gay marriage, he's in a heterosexual marriage with kids. Talk about walking the walk! Did Craig propose marriage to the undercover cop? If not, I'm not seeing the "hypocrisy."
And why is it "homophobic" for Senate Republicans to look askance at sex in public bathrooms? Is the Times claiming that sodomy in public bathrooms is the essence of being gay? I thought gays just wanted to get married to one another and settle down in the suburbs so they could visit each other in the hospital.
Liberals have no idea what they think about homosexuality, which is why their arguments are completely contradictory. They gay-bait Republicans with abandon -- and then turn around and complain about homophobia.
They call Larry Craig a "deviant" based on accusations that he attempted to solicit sex in a public bathroom -- and then ferociously attack efforts to prevent people from having sex in public bathrooms.
They say people are born gay -- and then they say it's the celibacy requirement that turns Catholic priests gay.
They tell us gays want nothing more than to get married -- and then say it's homophobic to oppose homosexual sex in public bathrooms.
Unlike liberals, the "family values caucus" that the Times loathes has only one position on homosexuality: Whatever your impulses are, don't engage in homosexual sex. In fact, don't have any sex at all unless it is between a husband and wife.
The Idaho Statesman spent eight months investigating a rumor that Craig was gay. They interviewed 300 people, going back to his college days. They walked around Union Station in Washington, D.C., with a picture of Craig, asking people if they had seen him loitering around the men's bathrooms.
And they produced nothing.
All they had was the original anonymous charge of sodomy in a bathroom at Union Station that started the eight-month investigation in the first place -- and his plea to "disorderly conduct" after an ambiguous encounter in a bathroom in Minneapolis. Even his enemies said they had never seen any inappropriate conduct by Craig.
If the charges against Craig are true -- and that is certainly in doubt -- he's a sinner (and barely that, according to The Idaho Statesman), but he is among the least hypocritical people in America.